As I recently teased, after 30 years in the nest (as in, at home with my parents), I finally moved out last week. It’s one of those life steps that is both exciting and terrifying in equal measure. I didn’t just rent a place, either. Keeping to my personality, I went from 0 (at home with my parents) to 60 (owning my own place). It’s a condo about 15 minutes from my folks house still in Ohio and believe it or not, the same work commute as before, so that didn’t change.
I’ve had quite a few starts and stops when it comes to moving out. Whether it was applying to nearby apartments with my friend, then it falling through; applying to those same apartments individually and it falling through; and to moving into a condo with my then-girlfriend and it falling through, nothing was quite sticking. Fortunately, I have generous folks who weren’t charging me rent and were largely fine with me being at home. Still, I’m in my 30s now and when I officially turned 30, I set off to house hunt again. And perhaps even more serendipitous, my dad had become a real estate agent and could help me search.
(A bit of an aside rant here, but it’s interesting how American culture puts a lot of pressure on young people to move out and go to college at 18. That’s a lot! On top of owning a vehicle and being a new driver. Certainly, a lot of people, including many of my peers, handled all of that just fine, but well, I took a bit longer on all of those fronts.)
Since September, I’ve been looking at houses, apartments, condos and townhouses in the area. I have to be honest, too. Again, sticking to my personality, even when it came to purchasing a home (or renting, I was still open to that idea), I was winging it. My personality type is to both wing it and dive in headfirst and handle what comes later. That can be a decidedly bad strategy. Nevertheless …
Some of the places looked nice, but the price point wasn’t working. Others looked better in the pictures than in-person. And still, others were nice, but perhaps not in the best area. In early December, I took the step, not only into what would become my new home, but giving my dad the green light to put an offer in to the seller. Another facet of my personality is that I’m not a picky person. I go to pick out new glasses and I spend about 10 seconds contemplating it. I step into the home here and yeah, it’s not the dream home or anything like that, but why not, let’s go? Yes, I did just analogize buying glasses to buying a home. But my point is, I could always talk myself out of doing it out of fear of change and sticking with living at home. At some point, I had to say, “Let’s go.”
And while this isn’t a “dream home,” for the price point and location, as a single person living on his own, I can’t ask for much better than this place with its two bedrooms, bath and a half, kitchen and living room, not to mention the place already coming with appliances, such as washer, dryer, dishwasher (although, I don’t actually plan on using this much at all; I’ve been hand-washing), and refrigerator.
I did it. I took the scary step. I separated from my comfort zone. It’s the biggest leap I’ve taken since going half-way across the country for an internship that didn’t pay any money. But crucially, none of it would be possible, and that’s not an exaggeration, without my family and friends. Aside from my parents not charging me rent after all this time and my dad being a real estate agent to help with all of that, they contributed in myriad other ways to me being able to take this step. More than I can ever repay them. My expansive family also stepped in by gifting me groceries, a couch, kitchen table, vacuum, a bookshelf and so much more. And even my friends gifted me cleaning supplies and cookies!
Since I was an early teen, I always thought one day when I moved out, I would be willing to “rough it,” as it were and live minimalist. I don’t need a lot to be satisfied and happy on my own. As long as I have my books, which were by far the biggest item to move aside from my bed, a coffee machine and working WiFi, what else do I need? And I still feel that way. My brother tried to generously gift me a second television, but I didn’t want it. Why does one guy need two televisions?! But still, a lot of people stepped up to help fill out my place with those aforementioned items.
I can’t overstate how generous everyone has been. Since moving and spending my first official night here last Saturday, I’ve spent maybe $20 for items I wanted that nobody else got, like a broom, a few more seasonings for my kitchen, and coffee creamer. That’s it. My mindset was always to get to the house. That was the goal. Make sure I can do that and the rest will come later. But thanks to my family and friends, the rest came immediately, helping me to get off to a good start.
And it’s weird, you know? I don’t know what the word for this is, but how, no matter how old you get or what you do, you still feel like a kid compared to other adults? As a 30-year-old, I was standing in my house more than week ago – my house! – while a guy was cleaning my carpets, and I had that feeling wash over me, “I’m just a kid, what am I doing? This is nuts.” And yet.
I don’t know if that feeling will ever go away, but I’m glad to have taken the step.
So, if you look through that GIF, I have my little coffee station set up in the kitchen. I’ve had to semi-retire my Keurig because it’s an expensive habit to keep up, and instead, I regularly use Mr. Coffee now, which I love the crackle it makes when brewing! It even has a neat feature where you can have it ready to brew the next morning. Also, the second bedroom is going to be my “library” room, as you can see with all of the books. My sister-in-law and brother are giving me their bookshelf, so hopefully I can finish off those books still on the ground!
I’ve been a cleaning madman, but again with the help of my mother who spent most of the day here last weekend helping me clean. I’m most proud of cleaning my oven out:
Now that everything is moved, cleaned and organized, the only outstanding items left that I can think of are hanging some photos (I have those neat adhesive hooks) and I need to replace my downstairs blinds because there’s a tiny square missing. I could also use a duster to help clean those blinds. To be able to say that’s all that’s left to deal with, as far as I can think of, is only possible because of my family and friends.
I’m a fortunate, lucky guy.
Thank you for virtually visiting!